The Power of Music

“Ah, music,” he said, wiping his eyes. “A magic beyond all we do here!” 

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone 

As a kid I sang all the time–didn’t matter what I sang about–I made up my own songs.

I sang as I roamed around the house, as I ran through the neighborhood, and while I climbed and sat on the swing set in our backyard.

In school, I was always a part of chorus. Somehow I was always lucky enough to be part of the school shows in spite of the fact I could not read music.

As with so many things, time went by and work obligations grew. I had so much on my mind there was no room for music. My singing and my music fell to the wayside.

Over this past year I’ve rediscovered both. A lot of that is thanks to my friend, Lana.

Lana and her husband, Doug, know their music. I mean that in a very literal sense–they know the bands, the songs, and the history of if all. I’ve been the fortunate benefactor because they’ve always shared with me.

Now music is back in my daily routine. In fact, I just bought our tickets to an annual music festival held in a little mountain community in Colorado. I am so excited. I know I’ll be back in this peaceful valley, listening to the music that soothes my soul.

Thank you, Lana and Doug, for being you and sharing your love of music.

“Music has always been a matter of Energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel. I have always needed Fuel. I am a serious consumer. On some nights I still believe that a car with the gas needle on empty can run about fifty more miles if you have the right music very loud on the radio.” 

Hunter S. Thompson

I am…

B…simply being…


I am thankful for my friend, Kimberlee Salimeno, for allowing me to use her photo in my blog today. Thanks, Kimberlee, I love you. Please note, no-reuse of this photo without permission from Kimberlee.


The Gift of Music

Music can touch and heal that secret wound of the soul which nothing else can reach.

Debasish Mridha

After stumbling upon this picture today, I finally figured out what my heart was missing.


Not just any ol’ music. I needed that fix that soothes me right to my core–communicates with my soul. I needed to find some Dakota Blonde.


I would have asked the same question until my husband and I went with our friends Doug and Lana, to the High Peaks Music Festival. This festival is held annually in Westcliffe, Colorado, a small community nestled in a mountain valley surrounded by the Wet and the Sangre de Christo mountains.

That September afternoon when Mary Huckins, Don Pinnella, and Tony Raddell stepped on stage, I was thrilled. Lana talked about them and shared their music with us forever. Now I was finally going to hear them for myself.  What took me completely off guard was my reaction when Mary began to sing. I began to cry. Not a dainty little cute cry–I went into a big old sob fest–and it was all good. Best therapy ever–which is also good since all three are music therapists. Who knew? Best therapy I ever had!

I share all kinds of things in this space. Today’s share came unexpectedly and is one of my favorites. The music created by these three people is powerfully simple. It is a little folk. It is a little acoustic rock. For me, I hear an underlying current of Celtic mysticism. When I listen to their music, I don’t just hear it, I experience it.

Take a listen for yourself. Visit their home page: 

If you find yourself in the Westcliffe area the first weekend after Labor Day, check out the High Peaks Music Festival. It is a refreshing experience on many levels. The small town atmosphere, the eclectic people in the crowd, the majestic scenery, and the multi-talented musicians lined up to fill your day with joyful sounds.

I found this quote today–I just have to share.

Music has always been a matter of Energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel. I have always needed Fuel. I am a serious consumer. On some nights I still believe that a car with the gas needle on empty can run about fifty miles if you have the right music very loud on the radio. 

Hunter S. Thompson

I am…

B…simply being…

I ask that you keep those struggling due to the fires and storms in your prayers. They all have a very long road ahead of them.

I love Y’all.





Musical Memories

It’s Friday. I may be retired, but being retired does not take the “specialness” away from Fridays.

Friday is one of our water aerobic days. I love being able to exercise again without feeling like I am destroying my body. Today was special because of some of the music.

I’m always surprised by the emotions music can stir–even while working to get your heart rate up and stay somewhat coordinated–a feat that often eludes me.

Today, one of the first songs spurring me on was, “I’m Henry the Eighth I am”, the original one, by Herman’s Hermits. Oh, my heavens. I don’t think I have heard that song for decades.  As I listened, I was transported back to 8th grade. I could see all my former North Tama classmates climbing onto the buses which would take us to the school house in Dinsdale, Iowa, the site for our junior high. The trip was a fairly short and one we made regardless of the weather.

We would often sing as we rode down Highway 63. At least that is what I remember–the singing, talking and planning for the day ahead. As I thought about this, I couldn’t help but wonder how different that whole experience would have been if we were taking that same ride today. Would we even be talking to each other? Or would we all be in our own little spaces looking at our cell phones?

The other song that made me smile played shortly after that. As it began, I recognized it right away. I wanted to run over and turn it up. “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang. As this played out over the pool I saw an entirely different time in my life. I had “grown up” but I still had a lot of growing up to do. I had a precious group of friends who were also mostly co-workers. I was and am very lucky. This is something else that does not happen in today’s world. We worked and partied hard. Whenever we were together, this song playing often. As it played I would often declare it to be the song playing if I ever got married again.

Two very different songs that helped me remember two very special times in my life. I am grateful.

Because it’s Friday I am sharing my latest book. Setting Free The Kites, by Alex George.  It’s a story of two teenage boys, Robert Carter and Nathan Tilly. They meet on their first day of school in 1976. Their friendship is formed quickly by two tragic events.

What made this book important to me was one of the story lines. Robert’s brother, Liam, has Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Working in medical imaging, I had several patients over the years with muscular dystrophy. Reading about Liam, his bravery as he battled his disease, and the effects it had on his family was well done, enlightening, and heartbreaking.

Because the book impressed me, I want to share some snippets. With the nature of Liam’s disease, I don’t feel that I’m giving anything away.

Oh, Liam,” she whispered. “You were the best boy there ever was.” She kissed his cheek, breathing him in, baptizing him with her tears. But no matter how tightly she squeezed, how fiercely she clung, she could not hold on to him. 

Some time after that, we stumbled out into the rest of our lives. 

…On the window shelf was a half-drunk bottle of Gatorade and a paperback of The Great Gatsby…He had only made it halfway through. I wondered whether he had given up on it or if he’d been planning to finish it when he returned home from the hospital. 

There were unfinished stores everywhere.

For me, the book was perfect because I have been doing so much reflecting on my own childhood. The book is serious but also very funny and always entertaining. The characters in this book reminded me of many people from my own childhood. Grab it and travel back to the 70’s.

I am…

B…simply being…

Have a safe and restful weekend.

Love and peace, Y’all.


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